Spartans land forward Hall, in mix for others
East Lansing — Michigan State officially signed its first member of the 2019 recruiting class on Wednesday with the promise of one more and the hope of at least a couple more than that.
Six-foot-7 forward Malik Hall of Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period that runs through Nov. 21. Michigan State was also expected to receive a letter of intent from 6-foot-2 guard Rocket Watts. The Detroit native is playing this season for Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio, and was the first player to commit to the class.
Watts is a four-star combo guard who is ranked the No. 32 player in the nation, according to 247sports.
Hall, who committed on Nov. 1, is ranked the No. 52 player in the nation.
The Spartans are in the same boat as several of the nation's other top programs as they await decisions from several of the top recruits.
The biggest prize out there for Michigan State is 6-10 forward Vernon Carey Jr., who took his second official visit to East Lansing last weekend and lists Michigan State as a finalist along with Duke, North Carolina, Miami and Kentucky.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is ranked the No. 2 player in the nation and many believe his choice will come down to Duke or Michigan State. He’s been to MSU three times and it is the only school where he took two official visits.
Center Isaiah Stewart, the No. 5 player in the nation, is also considering Michigan State. The 6-9 big man who is playing this season at La Lumiere in La Porte, Ind. — the same school that produced Jaren Jackson Jr. — took an official visit to Michigan State last month. He’s also visited Duke, Syracuse, Kentucky and Washington.
Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6-8 1/2 and ranked No. 15 in the nation, has Michigan State, Indiana and UCLA listed as finalists and visited Michigan State in October.
The final five-star on Michigan State’s radar is 6-7 forward Keion Brooks, a teammate of Stewart’s at La Lumiere. He is scheduled to visit Michigan State this weekend and has already visited his other finalists — Indiana, Duke, North Carolina and UCLA.
For those who don’t sign in the early period, the next chance to sign a letter of intent is from April 17 through May 15. Until then, players can make non-binding verbal commitments.